The Saudi Ad School: Enas Rashwan's journey from Cairo to Riyadh

Abha Garyali Peer |

Enas Rashwan, the founder and CEO of Saudi Ad School and Cairo Ad School (CAS), is a trailblazer in the advertising and communications industry, boasting an impressive career spanning over 18 years. Recognizing a significant gap in specialized education and training for creatives in her region, Enas took the bold step of founding Cairo Ad School, the first of its kind in the Middle East.

Through her leadership, Cairo Ad School has evolved into a thriving hub for creative talent, driving innovation and pushing the boundaries of advertising possibilities. Enas's vision and dedication have led to numerous international awards for the school's students, showcasing the remarkable talent emerging from Egypt on a global stage.

In an exclusive Interview with Adgully Middle East, Enas Rashwan sheds light on the challenges and her aspirations for empowering women in the region through her endeavors. Additionally, she shares insights into the future trajectory of the institution, indicating a continued commitment to excellence and innovation in advertising education.

The name as well as the concept of ‘Saudi Ad School’ is unique. What enthused you to launch the Saudi Ad School? What are your hopes and aspirations from it?

The concept of the Saudi Ad School was born out of a deeply felt need for specialized, industry-relevant education in advertising. As a former creative director, I personally experienced the challenges of finding specialized training and skill in the region. The pain points and frustrations we faced in the industry became the catalyst for creating a school that not only addresses these gaps but is also named after and designed for the creative minds of the country, considering their language and market insights.

The goal is clear: To equip individuals and companies with the skills and abilities needed to succeed in the dynamic world of advertising. Every region has its unique market needs, and the school aims to bridge those gaps by providing education that aligns with local requirements. The inspiration behind this venture is to see every individual in the industry flourish and succeed in their creative pursuits, contributing to global competitiveness.

You have opened another branch in Riyadh recently. This shows the success of the concept. What do you attribute its success to?

**Success Rooted in Industry Understanding**

The model has been proven successful since I established Cairo ad school 10 years ago in Egypt.

The recent expansion of the Saudi Ad School to Riyadh is a testament to the success of its unique approach. The key to this success lies in the fact that the school is created by industry professionals for industry professionals. The team consists of experts who intimately understand the core of the advertising industry, possessing a deep comprehension of its needs and challenges. This insider perspective ensures that the education provided is not only relevant but also geared towards real-world applications.

How has been the market response to the inauguration of the Saudi Ad School in Saudi Arabia?

The reception has been nothing short of phenomenal. The overwhelming support and numerous collaborative initiatives that have poured in from individual experts, prominent brands, and esteemed organisations are truly heartening. It is gratifying to witness the alignment of their values and objectives with the core mission and goals of the Saudi Ad School (SAS). The robust backing received underscores the industry's recognition of the school's significance and its potential to shape the future of advertising education in the region. The momentum of these positive responses sets an inspiring tone for the impactful journey ahead.

What are your views on the development of women in Middle Eastern countries?

Speaking about development, it is crucial to recognize that passion for growth transcends gender. In the Middle East, women are making significant strides, breaking through barriers that may have existed in the past. The hunger for success, once monopolized by men, is now driving women to achieve new heights.

In this transformative landscape, the Saudi Ad School is gearing up to play a pivotal role in fostering opportunities for women in the industry. With a commitment to providing unwavering support, knowledge, and essential tools, the school is poised to be a catalyst for women's success. The vision extends beyond mere empowerment; it aims to create an environment where women not only thrive but flourish in the dynamic world of advertising. The future looks promising, and it will be exciting to witness the continued progress and achievements of industry women in the coming years.

What are your hopes for the future of your nation?

My hopes for the future of our nation are simple: peace and prosperity for all Arab nations. Additionally, I envision a world where creativity from our region shines on the global stage, contributing to a positive and innovative representation of our culture.

The Ad Industry has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last couple of years. What do you think are the factors that led to this?

The growth of the advertising industry is intricately tied to business expansion and cultural openness. Wherever there is economic growth, there is a corresponding surge in advertising activities. Furthermore, as cultures become more open and exposed to new ideas, creativity flourishes, leading to the expansion and diversification of the advertising industry.

What will be your advise to women who aspire to be leaders in the Ad industry?

Leadership is a natural quality that emerges from passion and dedication. To aspiring female leaders, my advice is simple: know what exactly you want and go for it: Period.

And during your journey be kind to yourself, persevere, and go with the flow. Your journey in the industry is a reflection of what you are meant to be, and with time, dedication, and resilience, you will undoubtedly ascend to leadership roles.

What are your five-year plans regarding the growth of Saudi Ad school?

In the next five years, the Saudi Ad School aims to secure its position as one of the top advertising schools globally. It aspires to become a hub for all industry stakeholders in the region, fostering a community of creative minds and serving as a beacon for excellence in advertising education.

?What are your future plans? Are you planning to foray into more countries in the region?

While there are no immediate plans to open branches, the vision is to be ready to establish Ad School wherever there is a demand for advertising education in the region. The goal is to be agile and responsive to the needs of countries seeking to enhance their creative landscape through tailored industry education.